Archive for Miscellaneous

macOS Security

Looking for some ideas on how to secure your macOS installation, head over to drduh’s collection of tips and hints on Github.

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Meetings

I am not a fan of meetings. Anyone that has worked for me knows that I try to avoid meetings at all costs. Now, I am not talking about individual meetings with a single employee or even a quick touch point with 1 or 2 people. I am referring to the larger meetings that usually involve more than 5 people, a vague topic and an agenda that looks like a project plan for putting a man on Mars.

Here are some notes that I try to follow when planning a meeting:

Invite the Right Individuals

There is nothing more frustrating to me than attending a meeting where an agenda item is being discussed and the host says something like “I guess I should have invited Bob to this meeting to discuss this.” Yes, you are right host, you should have invited Bob and more than likely should have left other people off the invite as they do not need to be here.

Go through your agenda and figure out who can speak to the item and make sure to invite those individuals. If they can not attend, scratch the agenda item, or if it needs to be discussed then work with those individuals to schedule the meeting when they can be there. You are wasting everyone’s time when you have the wrong individuals.

Agendas

The agenda for a meeting should be a quick list of bullet points with a topic and maybe a brief 1 or 2 sentence describing it, if the topic title is vague. The agenda should not be a multi-page dissertation on the meaning of life. Also, make sure that the number of items on the agenda can be dealt with in the timeframe allocated for the meeting. If not, then break up the topic items and if needed schedule multiple meetings.

Diversions

We all know what happens at meetings. We have an agenda and then 15 minutes into the meeting the agenda is thrown out the window and the meeting turns into a free for all. As the meeting host, it is your job to stop those diversions. Nicely point out to the person that they are wasting everyone’s time (probably want to use different words than that), write down their item and put it on a list of follow-up for after the meeting.

Length of Meetings

NO meeting other than a briefing or training session, should be over an hour and most meetings can be concluded in 30 minutes. When I am done with the agenda items, I end the meeting and give time back. There is no need hanging out in a meeting after the agenda has been discussed. If someone has something they need to talk about that is not related to the current topics, that should be dealt with offline in another meeting or with the individuals.

Minutes

I have found that I am not able to facilitate a meeting as a host and effectively take notes. Usually, if I think there will be a need for minutes/notes, I ask to have someone else scribe the notes from the meeting and then send those out to all the invitees afterwards. If I try to do it, something gets missed, or there are too many times I have to apologize for writing instead of doing my job to keeping the meeting moving along.

Overall

Nothing I mention above is earth shattering, more about items I try to follow on a daily basis to have meaningful meetings that are not wasting mine or others time. My job as the facilitator of the meeting is to make sure the agenda is discussed, actions are developed and we get in and out of there in a timely manner. In most companies, ours and our employees jobs are not to attend meetings, but rather to get work done, this is why I have as few meetings as possible.

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